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© 2003
Robyn Gallagher

Ja Rule

Ja Rule was in Auckland. I knew this because I'd seen posters around town advertising his show. It would have been so exciting to see the hip-hop heartthrob live, but sadly I didn't have a spare $90+ to spend on a concert ticket. However, I'd also heard promos on Mai FM announcing that he would be making an appearance at the big Sounds store on Queen Street. Of course, given that I totally hate Ja Rule and feel ill every time I hear his music, I made my way along to Sounds.

A large group of teenage girls and a few guys were excitedly queuing, clutching their "official Murder Inc product" (a.k.a. Ja Rule CDs). Near me some other guys hovered, hoping to catch a glimpse of Ja Rule.

Dude 1: Ow, who's in there, bro?
Dude 2: Ja Roo, ow.
Dude 1: Eh?
Dude 2: Ja Roo!
Dude 1: Oh, chroo?

Suddenly I found myself in line excitedly clutching my copy of "The Last Temptation".

Wait, how did I end up owning a copy of "The Last Temptation"? I clearly remember only a few months ago driving around with a friend and declaring my undying hatred for Ja Rule. "Urgh, I hate Ja Rule," I seethed as he duetted with Jennifer Lopez on Mai FM. "He sucks. What kind of dick starts a sweet love song with "What's my mother fucking name?""

And of all the Ja Rule CDs, why "The Last Temptation"? It's so unashamedly pretentious - he all but compares himself to Jesus. The CD booklet is overloaded with religious imagery. There are photos of him praying with rosary beads and photos of him being baptised in a river. It seems that any religion is ok as long as it provides an oppotunity for him to show off his muscled body. Or maybe Ja Rule feels guilty about writing lyrics like "I got a fetish for fucking you with your skirt on"?

Back in line, I waited and waited. Across the road a car hit a pedestrian, so that provided a bit of excitement. After about an hour a guy came out and made an announcement that due to time restrictions (i.e. Ja Rule wanted to leave), there would be no more signings, but that Ja Rule sent his love and would be told how much all the fans loved him. It was the most insincere sounding crap I'd heard in ages.

Bitterly disappointed, I was trudging along High Street and noticed a bunch of teenage girls loitering down an alley. I quickly realised it was the back entrance of the Sounds store, where Ja Rule would soon be making his exit from. I joined in the loitering and heard a one girl excitedly recalling her encounter with Ja Rule.

"I said, "hi"! And he said, "wassup". And then he signed my CD! And I said, "thanks"! And then they made me go away.
"Oh my God! Did he touch you!"
"No."

There were a bunch of black American guys waiting around too. One of them was doing a really dead-on Ja Rule impersonation, which was freaking out some of the girls, as if Ja Rule had shape-shifted into the body of a nerdy guy on holiday in New Zealand.

Some police showed up and made everyone go out onto the street. It was at that point a friend of mine spied me and came over. I didn't reveal the extent of my Ja Rule stalking, instead letting him think that I just happened across the crowd.

Then there was movement. Down the alley people were coming out of the building and getting into cars. All around me girls were screaming and yelling, "Oh my God!" A security guard told the crowd that they weren't to step in front of the cars when they drove past because it could end in tragedy. Oh, but surely being run over by Ja Rule's car would be worth it?

A car filled with Ja Rule's entourage drove past. One of them was leaning out the car window filming the screaming girls. Then another vehicle came out and - oh my God - Ja Rule was in the front passenger seat. There was more screaming from the girls. Was he going to give me some thug lovin'? No, he looked tired and weary.

Two ordinary-looking women were sitting in the back of the vehicle. "Who are those girls?!" one of the fans screamed. Because, y'know, it should have been her ridin' with Ja Rule. As the vehicles turned into High Street, the girls ran after them. It looked like a low budget, hip-hop version of "A Hard Day's Night".

According to the review in the Herald, the Ja Rule concert later that night was short and neither Ashanti or Charli Baltimore showed up. I get the feeling that I probably had more fun doing some Ja Rule spotting on High Street than I would have had at the concert.

My Ja Rule CD remains unautographed.